GOP Rep Accuses Democrats of “Weaponizing the Tax Code” Against Trump
In a harsh denouncement of the Democrats and their attempt to publicize President Donald Trump’s tax returns through congressional action, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-CA) of the House Ways and Means Committee accused the opposition party of an “abuse of power” that would have wide-ranging ramifications for both politicians and private citizens. In an interview with Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto, Brady said that whatever you may believe about Trump’s decision not to release his tax returns, it was outside the boundaries of ethics for Democrats to go digging around in the president’s IRS filings.
“This isn’t about whether the president should voluntarily release his tax returns. You can say yes or no to that. This is really about an abuse of power by Congress,” Brady said. “The law today protects individual taxpayers from Congress examining them and making them public for purely partisan reasons. If Democrats twist the law and weaponize the tax code for purely partisan reasons, they have set a very dangerous precedent, because if Congress, any Congress, can rummage around in the tax returns of the president, what stops them from doing that for anything they think is a political enemy?”
As Brady explained, Democrats in Congress are trying to claim that peering into the president’s tax returns would expose whether or not he has conflicts of interest that prevent him from properly serving the American people. But Brady said that both the IRS and the FBI already conduct these types of reviews on an annual basis, making Congress’ meddling redundant and purely for public consumption.
Democrats have suggested numerous times the possibility of codifying into law a rule that says presidential candidates must release their tax returns. Most of them believe that this should be enacted immediately and, if they cannot get it to apply to Trump retroactively, they can at least demand that he do so before running again in 2020. But considering the partisan stakes of this issue, they are running extremely close to a violation of the Constitution. A bill of attainder, meant to single out one individual for specific purposes of punishment, is prohibited by our founding document. Democrats have an out to argue that their tax return law would apply to every presidential contender, but any judge who takes a fair and balanced look at their motivations would see right through this scheme.
And of course, such a bill would stand little chance of passing the Senate, since Republicans would see this for exactly what it is.
The idea that Trump’s tax returns are filled with shady Russian mobster deals is ludicrous on its face, but this is the kind of insinuation Democrats want to make with this dog and pony show. It’s just like those “secretive” calls Don Jr. made to blocked numbers before and after the Trump Tower meeting. Wherever Democrats can find a question mark, they will answer with “Russia.” And then, even after the truth is revealed, they’ve already tainted the public conversation with their baseless accusations.
Trump could release thirty years’ worth of scandal-free tax returns, and it wouldn’t make one damn bit of difference to the Democrat narrative.